Longhorns and Aggies Unite at the Capitol

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Orange and maroon aren’t colors you usually see side by side, but they mingled beautifully at the Texas Capitol on Wednesday.

Alumni volunteers and supporters from Texas A&M and UT were there for the seventh-annual Orange and Maroon Legislative Day, an event focused on boosting legislative support for the state’s flagship universities. About 200 volunteers visited every legislative office, speaking with lawmakers and staffers about the universities’ legislative priorities. The three key issues were restoring cuts to base funding; approving funds for campus construction and renovation; and continuing support for research.

In addition to the office visits, proclamations were read on the House and Senate floors, complete with some good-natured ribbing from the legislators (one legislator’s addendum to the proclamation was a silly speech about how Texas football will surely win a national championship next year). Both universities’ presidents and alumni association leaders were in attendance, and they also met with Gov. Greg Abbott, BBA ’81, Life Member, and Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick. A luncheon and an evening reception provided more opportunities for networking and in-depth discussions of the issues.

Texas Exes advocacy director Daniel Becka says this year’s event was the best yet. “In terms of participation from volunteers, administrators, and elected officials, the energy level was just really high,” he says. “And the feedback coming out of the legislative offices was incredibly positive overall.”

“Awareness of the issues important to advancing higher education in our state is at an all-time high,” Becka adds, “and that’s the goal of Orange and Maroon Legislative Day. We want to increase the profile of higher education and how critical an investment it is to our state and our economy.”

Photos by Anna Donlan


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